Best of the Alps
Choose your own adventure in one of these four regions.
The Draw: Located in the Pennine Alps, on the border between Italy and Switzerland, the area around this 14,692-foot-high mountain is known for its rich village life.
The Trip: REI Adventures leads a trek between Grindelwald and Zermatt that will have you hiking up to 11 miles a day and exploring medieval hamlets along the way. Nine days from $4,775. ++++
The Draw: This valley in Switzerland’s easternmost corner is known for wildflower meadows, Bronze Age ruins, glaciated peaks, and charming inns.
The Trip: An inn-to-inn tour with Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures stops at cozy wood-paneled chalets and 17th-century houses. Seven days from $3,740. ++
The Draw: Gastronomy rules in northern Italy’s Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site with dramatic limestone formations, crumbling castles, and Austrian-influenced cuisine.
The Trip: On an itinerary from Whole Journeys, the new travel arm of Whole Foods Market, you’ll visit a farm where cheese and yogurt are made and hike past ancient shingle-roofed farmhouses. Seven days from $4,595. ++
The Draw: Austria’s history-filled North Tyrol has centuries-old palaces and pristine lakes.
The Trip: The Wayfarers offers a walk that stops at the original summer lodge of the Von Trapp family and passes the Imperial Palace of Empress Maria Theresa, the Hapsburgs’ only female ruler. Seven days from $3,995. ++
For Culture Mavens: Ireland
The Connemara & Galway Bay trip from CW (formerly Country Walkers) hits classic sites—such as the cliffs of Moher—on less-touristed paths. You’ll also participate in a traditional céilidh dance and share a pint at a pub while taking in a seisiún with fiddlers. Seven days from $4,198. ++
For Nature Lovers: The French Pyrenees
The 142-acre Can Rigall estate, operated by ecotourism group Basecamp Explorer, is modeled after a Catalan farmstead, with 11 rustic-chic rooms providing an ideal base for trekking into the Mount Canigou range. Doubles from $340 per night. ++
For Foodies: Alsace, France
Bespoke trips from Trufflepig follow the Route des Vins between Strasbourg and Colmar. Take an eight-mile walk through vineyards to sample Klevener de Heiligenstein (a rare Savagnin Rose), or go on a kitchen tour of the Michelin three-starred Auberge de L’Ill, in the town of Illhaeusern. Six days from $3,000. +
For History Buffs: Turkey
Visit the ancient city of Ephesus and follow the Silk Road to the cave churches of Cappadocia on Turquoise Coast & Cappadocia from Classic Journeys before spending four days based on a yacht on the Mediterranean Sea, exploring secluded coves. Nine days from $4,695. +
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